“Perhaps the most important network in the region” – Greenreality Network elects new Steering Group

“Perhaps the most important network in the region” – Greenreality Network elects new Steering Group

South Karelia is one of the first regions in Finland to actively pursue carbon neutrality, and Lappeenranta has just been chosen as the greenest city in Europe. The City of Lappeenranta is heavily involved in an initiative called the Greenreality Network, which was set up in collaboration with local businesses ant LUT Group to promote growth and create new business opportunities for its members and the entire region.

The Greenreality Network was founded in 2011, and it now has almost 50 South Karelian energy and environmental businesses, educational institutions and local authorities among its members. The network’s practical work is coordinated by the City of Lappeenranta and more specifically a 12-person Steering Group. An annual meeting was held at the beginning of December, which involved, among other things, electing new officials and adopting new objectives and a revised strategy for the next three years.

The meeting was opened by Mayor of Lappeenranta Kimmo Jarva, who thanked all members of the network for their excellent work.

– The Greenreality Network is perhaps the most important network in the whole region”, he said in his speech.

– We all agree that we want to make our region a leading hub of renewable energy and green technology, where a significant percentage of jobs are related to sustainable global business, he explains.

According to the Mayor, the entire city administration stands behind the network.

– Every member of staff is expected to contribute to the network’s efforts and to help this vital initiative to succeed.

New officials and strategy

The Greenreality Network elected Arto Nikkanen, CEO of Lappeenrannan Energia Oy, as its new chairman. He takes over from Jukka Itkonen, Chairman of the Board of local energy-efficient heating and cooling systems supplier Itula Oy, who received special praise for his contribution to the network’s unity during the coronavirus crisis. The other members of the Steering Group are listed at the end of this release.

The network also adopted a new strategy for the years 2021–2023 and a vision for 2025: "The Greenreality Network is known as a producer of innovative global solutions. South Karelia is the best place in the world to live and run a business. The Karelian spirit is unbeatable"

The City of Lappeenranta’s Development Manager Markku Mäki-Hokkonen, who stays on as the network’s secretary, summarised the new strategy and outlined the network’s action plan.

– Our priority is to invest in strategic initiatives that promote our region and local businesses, he explains.

– We also want to expand the network and increase its global visibility as well as to become active lobbyists and find more efficient ways to measure the success of our communications.

Greenreality Network Steering Group 2021–2023

Arto Nikkanen, CEO, Lappeenrannan Energia (chairman)

Markku Hokkanen, Director, Assi Group (deputy chairman)

Päivi Ala-Vannesluoma, City Engineer, Imatra

Hanna Huppunen, Director, Danfoss Editron

Lasse Kankainen, Development Director, Rejlers

Janne Kauppi, Director, Metso Outotec

Sirpa Korhonen, Senior Manager, UPM

Markku Mäki-Hokkonen, Development Manager, Lappeenranta (secretary)

Matti Nikkinen, Vice-President, Operations, The Switch

Olli Pyrhönen, Professor, LUT University

Ilkka Räsänen, Environmental Director, Lappeenranta

Kirsi Taivalantti, Director, Technology Unit, LAB University of Applied Sciences


Markku Mäki-Hokkonen, Development Manager, City of Lappeenranta
+358 40 569 5515, markku.maki-hokkkonen(at)lappeenranta.fi

Arto Nikkanen, CEO, Lappeenrannan Energia Oy
+358 44 751 7211, arto.nikkanen(at)lreoy.fi

Kimmo Jarva, Mayor, City of Lappeenranta
+358 40 844 2000, kimmo.jarva(at)lappeenranta.fi

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